Comedy Month: East End Cabaret Review

October 04, 2011


In Adam's Event Magazine blog, our beloved leader has often spoken about the question of appropriateness at an entertainment at an event. In Corporate Events, it can often feel like everyone's treading on eggshells for fear of offending anyone. Though there’s good reason to be cautious with any risky material in events, from time to time we can underestimate people's willingness to be shocked by something a little racier than they're used to. We've been banging on about some pretty risky acts lately; from Le Gateau Chocolat's Opera/Drag/Lycra fusion to the utterly mesmeric Miss Polly Rae, it seems like these past few weeks we've been pushing the boundary of what's usually acceptable at events.

From this side, she's just Victor

Or at least we thought we were pushing the boundaries until we squeezed into the sweltering Cellar Door Club to get an eyeful of Eastend Cabaret a musical comedy duo that features lanky, doe eyed chanteuse Bernadette Byrne and a multi-instrumentalist, literal half-man-half-woman by the name of Victor/Victoria. We like to think of ourselves as being almost completely immune to shock when it comes to cabaret - we've seen a man oil himself up and jump into a balloon, a naked woman play 'hide the handkerchief' at La Soiree and we've all heard the stream of obscenities that flows from Alice Chorley's mouth when... whenever she feels like it; but even these jaded entertainment types were left blushing within minutes of East End Cabaret's first number.

...And there's Victoria!

Mixing sexed up cover versions with X-Rated anecdotal ditties, Bernadette and Victor/Victoria keep upping the ante till they have the crowd whooping and squealing with howls of surprised laughter. Displaying a wonderfully bicker-ey chemistry, the ladies' (and half a man) act feels spontaneous and off the cuff - as if they're surprising each other as much as their audience.

Reviewing Eastend Cabaret in detail is difficult without having to install an 'age-gate' on our supposedly family-friendly website, but Corporate clients can rest easy; the duo also perform a comparatively clean corporate act that focuses more on their sexually charged cover versions keeping the feel of their cabaret show but cutting back on some of the... Ping-Pong Balls. On the night, we were treated to a French-ified version of 'Lets Get Physical', a slightly twisted cover of 'Jealous Guy' and a performance of 'Like a Virgin' infused with a case of mistaken identity, all of which are performed with a mix of Piano, Accordion, Ukulele and even a Saw.

The show culminates with a piece called 'Holding an invisible tray' - it's good.

We could see Eastend Cabaret working brilliantly as hosts or comperes for an evening of entertainment, as well as working as a show in their own right. A great act to kick off our Comedy Month; East End Cabaret show that you don't have to go for a Stand Up Comic if you're looking for Laughs at an event.

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